Orange Blossom Carrot Salad

Some dishes depend on one special ingredient, the absence of which gives you something rather ordinary, the inclusion of which creates something extraordinary. This is one of those dishes. This carrot salad comes from the Middle East, and depends on the addition of orange flower water, which like rose water, is often used in Middle Eastern cooking. Orange flower water is distilled from bitter orange blossoms and is used to flavor drinks, salads, and desserts. Local chef Evie Lieb made this salad in our cooking class this week and I don’t think I’ve ever tasted carrot salad so exotically delicious. You can get orange blossom or orange flower water at a Mediterranean market. Whole Foods also carries it.

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Orange Blossom Carrot Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb carrots (with small cores) peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1/2 cup golden or crimson raisins
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp freshly juiced lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp orange flower water
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or more to taste
  • Salt and pepper, lightly sprinkled to taste
  • Chopped fresh mint for garnish

Method

Combine all the ingredients except mint. Chill in refrigerator several hours or overnight. Serve garnished with slivers of mint leaves.

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Evie adapted this recipe from one by Claudia Roden in The New Book of Middle Eastern Food

Links:

Orange Flower Water - available through Amazon.com. Good write-up, though I was able to get some delicious orange flower water at Whole Foods for only $2 for the same size bottle.

Classic Carrot Salad recipe

8 Comments

  1. Janine

    I adore the “ordinary” carrot salad (I use carrots, dark raisins, sour cream or yogurt, and sugar — not mayo!), but this sounds splendid too. I love the idea of the orange flower water.

  2. Elise

    Hi Janine, I think I’ve loved every carrot salad I’ve ever eaten, and I agree with you – the standard version is terrific. Thanks for the suggestion of using sour cream or yogurt; that would be good too.

  3. Linda

    I love this salad, I love yoghurt in it.

  4. Pauline

    Thankyou so much. It’s fantastic. EVERYONE loved it. Even the kids.

  5. Ally

    This was quick to fix and quite delicious! The carrots came pre-grated in a zippy bag from the store so I just mixed everything in the bag. Didn’t dirty anything but measuring spoons – my kind of “cooking!”

    As a diabetic, I’m always looking for quick and taste tempting ways to get more veges every day. Thank you so much!

  6. Katie

    I made this salad yesterday for lunch today, and it was delicious. The orange blossom aroma fragranced my kitchen beautifully. I substituted dried cranberries for raisins (’cause I like ‘em better) and it worked really well. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I think I’ll try the rose petal flan next.

  7. Georgia

    I like all kinds of carrot salad, but my favorite is fresh grated carrots, stir in well drained crushed pineapple and sprinkle a little sugar over. No mayo or anything else. Very simple. Sometimes for variety I also stir in raisins.

    Sounds like the other carrot salad we have on the site. ~Elise

  8. Jess

    I also like to use English lavender (it’s sweeter than others) instead of orange flower. And carrot salad is even more delicious with some sour cream or yogurt mixed in!

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